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CREATIVE TIPS

on

STARTING A PROJECT ENJOYING THE PROCESS FINDING NEW IDEAS MAKING THE TIME TAKING A BREAK EXERCISING YOUR CREATIVITY FINDING INSPIRATION BELIEVING IN YOURSELF NOT BEING SO HARD ON YOURSELF ASKING OTHERS FOR HELP DISCOVERING WHAT WORKS FOR YOU DOING IT FOR YOU

CREATIVE TIPS

At BRIKA, our aim is to celebrate and elevate modern craft. Since launching in November 2012, weve created a community of more than 200 artisans, designers and authentic Makers, and promote their modern, beautiful + well-crafted goods at brika.com.
We interview every Maker to learn about the process, motivation and challenges involved in creating a collection. Along the way, weve discovered their personal tips for tapping into creativityfrom making time for a project to nding inspirationand have compiled their best creative life hacks for you. Whether youre a designer, a developer or a dreamer, this collection will help you kick-start your next creative project giving you the motivation you need to carve out time and make things happen. Heres to a more inspired, creative & well-crafted year. We hope you enjoy.

Jen & Kena


P.S. This handbook is interactive! Click on the images to learn more about each Makers story & collection.

Ellen Bennett
HEDLEY & BENNET T
LO S A NGE LE S , C A LIF O R NIA

on STARTING a PROJECT
Just start. Dont over analyze or over-think too much because youll only create your own mental stops. Grab the rst step and do it. Just do it. Dont be worried about what could happen, focus on what is happening right now.

Just start!
01 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON STARTING A PROJECT

William Knopp + Jessica Tata


SON OF A SAILOR |
AU S T IN, T E XA S

Beginning a project is often the hardest part. Our best advice is to gather your materials and just begin creating. You can always edit later, but getting your rst ideas out in a tangible way makes room for the new ideas to rush in. Sketch. Make drafts. Experiment. Mess up. Waste materials. Have fun.

Get your first ideas out in a tangible way (it makes room for new ones!)

Bethany Nelson

MILKHAUS DESIGN
M A D I S O N, WI S CO NS IN

Perfect your ideas through trial & error

I am a person who has a million ideas and sometimes its hard to take an idea and start making for fear of it not being perfect. So, I would tell others to just start something. Youll gure it out as you go. Sometimes your perfect idea in your head may not result in a perfect product, but youll nd ways to make it perfect through trial and error.

02 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON STARTING A PROJECT

Heather Albro

THE BIRDS WORD BOUTIQUE


P O NT E V E D R A B E AC H, FLO R I DA

on ENJOYING the PROCESS


I think its important to enjoy the process of your craft. Making jewelry is therapeutic for me and I truly enjoy every aspect of it. When I am enjoying the process, my designs are much better.
BRIKA TIP: Create a comfortable work environment.

Enjoy the process of your project


03 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON ENJOYING THE PROCESS

Annette Stepanian
CONFET TI BY ANNET TE
LOS A N GE L E S , CA L IF O R N IA

I believe that everyone is innately creative. Some people just exercise the creative muscle more than others dont over-think or judge yourself during the process. There are no rules!

Dont over-think or judge your initial work

Michelle Meronek
GOLDhearted JEWELRY
B R O O K LYN, NE W YO RK

Be adamant about exploring your curiosities. Its understandably difficult to materialize every idea that arises, but write it down, execute a simplied version, and rene as you see necessary. 6 Creativity is an extension of your personality, so why minimize it to something youll get to in your free time? Give it priority, and it will spill into and enhance so many other aspects of your life.
BRIKA TIP: Make concrete creative plans! Get a membership

Make creating a priority in your schedule

to an art gallery or plan an annual getaway.

04 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON ENJOYING THE PROCESS

Joel & Ashley


THIS PAPER SHIP
SAX APAH AW, N OR T H CAR OL IN A

Allow yourself the time and space to play at the beginning. If it helps, see what the masters (experienced artists you admire) did to solve similar challenges. Brainstorm and allow your creativity to make connections. After the initial playtime, you can sharpen these connections and rene your ideas. Just stay loose! Tightness is the enemy of innovation!

Give yourself time to play at the beginning of a project


05 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON ENJOYING THE PROCESS

Becky Hui Chan


HONEY & BLOOM
S A N F R A NC IS CO, C A LIF O R NIA

on FINDING NEW IDEAS


When you have an idea, write it down. Dont let any of them get away from you, whether theyre good or not, they might come in handy or spark other ideas. Nurture your creativity by making things happen.
BRIKA TIP: Always carry a notepad or

use an app like Any.do or Evernote.

Write down every ideadont let any get away!


06 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON FINDING NEW IDEAS

Jennifer Seymour
SEA & STONE
SECHE LT, B R I T I S H CO LU M B I A

Get to work. Your next idea is contained in your last one. Go outside. Look down. Notice how nature does ithow it arranges things. Look up. Do the same thing. Read a great book; something that challenges you. Look at the work of artists and designers you admire.

Read a great booksomething that challenges you

Shannon Kehler
MOONLIGHT FOR VIOLET
TO R O N TO, O N TA R I O

10

Build a reservoir of ideas + inspiration

I have a big mason jar of started projects; pieces that arent taking shape as I envisioned them. Most of the time Ill get a really great new idea from a challenge that Im faced with so I appreciate these little pieces of well-intentioned inspiration. I go back to a lot of them when the right component, color or design occurs to me.

07 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON FINDING NEW IDEAS

Aymie Spitzer
NEIGHBORWOODS
S A N F R A NC IS CO, C A LIF O R NIA

on MAKING theTIME
Starting a project requires time and a lot of planning. Dont rush decisions because of a timeline. Take time to think about what you want and never diminish your personal standards of quality. building in time for the unexpected.
BRIKA TIP: Create a schedule,

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Make a plan & stay true to your vision


08 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON MAKING THE TIME

Araya Jensen
WIND & WILLOW
M IN N E A PO L I S , M IN N E S OTA

I live by the words, if theres a will, theres a way. Make time for what you love and the inspiration will follow.
BRIKA TIP: Pick a set time each day

(or week) to work on your project.

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Make time for what you love

Amy Lowry
FIELD TRIP
VA NCO U V E R, B R I T I S H COLUMB I A

13

Give yourself hoursnot minutesto create!

I nd that having an extended block of time i.e., 6-8 hours to do nothing but design can produce great results. Sometimes, the best way to get around a creative block is to step away from a design and return to it another day. Traveling works wonders too.

09 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON MAKING THE TIME

Shannon Kennedy
SASS & PERIL
WIN T ER PAR K, FLORIDA

Take the time and be patient. Research is key, then give the project time to develop. Walk away, come back to it, make revisions, and dont settle until you are condent in what youve produced.

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Walk away from a project, come back, & make revisions


10 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON MAKING THE TIME

Cathy Terepocki
CATHY TEREPOCKI CERAMICS
YA R R OW, B R I T I S H CO LU M B I A

on TAKING a BREAK
To get around creative blocks,I usually get out of the studio. Not only to look for those found elements to bring to the work but because I always welcome a change of scenery. Traveling to a foreign city is the best-case scenario. In a pinch, Ill just go for a good run or bike ride.

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Ideally, traveling to a foreign city


11 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON TAKING A BREAK

Heather Dahl
DAHLHAUS ART STUDIO
VAN COU VER, B R IT ISH COLU M B IA

Sometimes Ill take on a little painting project to give myself a break from ceramics; sometimes its even sewing or baking. When I have the more mundane parts of my work to do, Ill turn on a podcast, or watch a documentary while I work, but usually its in the quiet with my hands working that new ideas start to form. outlets for your creativity.
BRIKA TIP: Have multiple

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Work on multiple projects to avoid getting hung up on one


12 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON TAKING A BREAK

Rossella Manzini
ROSSL AB
S A N F R A NC IS CO, C A LIF O R NIA

on EXERCISING your CREATIVITY


Dont just wait for ideas to come to you. Dont be afraid of change and keep experimenting: the best things usually come this way, in art, work, and life.

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Keep experimenting; the best things come this way in art, work & life
13 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON EXERCISING YOUR CREATIVITY

Avril Loreti
AVRIL LORETI |
TO R O N TO, O N TA R I O

I make a commitment to draw for at least 15 minutes every day. Even if Im uninspired or my sketches arent going anywhere, I keep marker to paper and keep at it for at least 15 minutes. You never know what kind of seeds of design ideas will come out of a stack of unnished drawings.

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Work on your craft every day, even if its only for 15 minutes

Molly Covert
RABBIT FOOT FERN
S A N FR A NC I S CO, C A L I FORN I A

I usually start with a collage in my sketchbook. I nd a theme I like and run with it. Start out with a bunch of ideas and then edit down to a few gems. Take time with your process and dont rush it. 19

Find a theme you like, and run with it


14 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON EXERCISING YOUR CREATIVITY

Mary Young
MARYMADE
TO R O NTO, O NTA R I O

on FINDING INSPIRATION
To stay creative I surround myself with creative things; art, music, clothing, lm and so much more. When Im lost and need to kick-start my creativity I leave my apartment and people-watch. Everyone is so unique and has something amazing to offer; I take what I see and translate it into my work.

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People-watch (everyone tells a story)


15 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON FINDING INSPIRATION

Edi Canedo
I throw on some really good music and it usually gets my brain juices going!
BRIKA TIP: Create the perfect

CUCHARA

TO R O N TO, O N TA R I O

21

playlist, so youre ready to go.

Throw on some energizing music & take a dance break

AnneMarie Minardi
ROVER, DOG ACCESSORIES
TO R O NTO, O NTA R I O

When I start creating new items for the company, I create a visual board with clippings of everything that is catching our attention for that season. When I hit a creative roadblock, I nd it is best to clear my head by reading a good book or going for a long walk with the dog. 22

Create a visual board of things that inspire you

16 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON FINDING INSPIRATION

Kristen Ley
THIMBLEPRESS
J ACKSON, M ISSISSIPPI

Make sure you are doing something you truly love; something that you are passionate about to the point of almost obsession. Take time for yourself, though; make sure to get out and explore the world around you. Being out and about in a different routine is, for me, the best thing to nurture my creativity.

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Try a different routine & change up your environment


17 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON FINDING INSPIRATION

Mckenzie Santiago
BROOKLYN GROOMING
B R O O K LYN, NE W YO R K

on BELIEVING in YOURSELF
Just believe in yourself. So many people cave with fear and never really see through their goals; they are usually wildly talented too. My friend Lilli once said talent is 90 percent drive and that is something that really sticks with me. Its also incredibly important to love what you are doing, otherwise theres no point.
P H OTO S BY R I M A BR I N DA MO UR F O R B KS T Y LED

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Dont succumb to fear (talent is 90% drive)


18 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON BELIEVING IN YOURSELF

MADE BY SHAWNA X
CHI CAGO, IL L I N O IS

Shawna X

Research (everything is so accessible these days), nd the tools you need, and do it! Before I started this I was always a little shy due to logisticsbut soon realized I learn so much while working through things.

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Build confidence through research

Lisa Kunizaki
CHAMBRE DE SU CRE
M A NH AT TA N, NE W YORK

Accept failure as part of the process. Never limit yourself on where you can draw your inspiration from on a project. Its an ongoing, everyday process. Live it and love it.

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Accept failure as part of the process

19 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON BELIEVING IN YOURSELF

Carrie Ng

THE MADE & FOUND


TO R O NTO, O NTA R IO

on not being so HARD on YOURSELF


If Im having trouble coming up with ideas its usually because Ive put too much pressure on it, so the best thing to do is eat chocolate, wander around, meet friends (funny ones, not serious ones) and talk to people. Relax and get out of your head. I think the best ideas come when there is lightness and fun.

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Relax and get out of your head


20 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON NOT BEING SO HARD ON YOURSELF

Vanessa Marino & Regan Hayes


BL ACKBIRD |
TO R O NTO, O N TARI O

on ASKING OTHERS for HELP


We depend on each other a lot to stay motivated and creative. After working together and being friends for so long, we have sort of developed this weird ability to be what the other is not. If one of us is concerned about something, the other is calm. If one is feeling uninspired, the other is dripping with ideas. We play off of each other and help each other. And when all else fails, we pour a glass of wine and laugh!
BRIKA TIP: Have a creative condant to whom you can turn.

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Bounce ideas off a trusted friend

21 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON ASKING OTHERS FOR HELP

Katie Lime
MOIRA K. LIME JEWELRY
CH ICAG O, IL L IN OIS

Dont be afraid to put yourself out there and ask other people what they think about your project. I learned in school that a little bit of constructive criticism can be very helpful. Also, dont be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you dont try theres no opportunity to succeed.

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Push yourself out of your comfort zone


22 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON ASKING OTHERS FOR HELP

Telle Leer

IS WAS + WILL BE
A S H E V ILLE , NO R T H C A R O LINA

on DISCOVERING what WORKS forYOU


Everyones creative process is different; stay true to your unique nature, and dont get wrapped up in how other people are making it happen. Follow your own path; do what works for you.

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Dont get wrapped up in how other people are making it happen. Follow your own path
23 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON DISCOVERING WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

Emily Reinhardt
THE OBJECT ENTHUSIAST
OM AH A , N EB R ASKA

Find what works for you! Im at my most creative in the morning on a rainy day, with my favorite tea. That combination is what works for me, and I use those rainy mornings as my day to sit down and think of new ideas or really get inspired. different work spaces & times.
BRIKA TIP: Experiment with

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Discover when & where youre most productive


24 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON DISCOVERING WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

Brandy Schuman
A SENSIBLE HABIT
AT L A NTA , G E O R G I A

on DOING IT for YOU


Dont work so hard that you forget to get out and experience things. Get off your computer and get out your paints, or pens, or whatever medium you love. Look around, touch and pick things up. Set aside time for creating, just for you.

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Get off your computer and get out your paints, or pens, or whatever medium you love
25 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON DOING IT FOR YOU

Rissa Sandman
THE COASTAL
PACIFIC G R OVE, CALIFORNIA

I started creating designs that I loved, and just hoped that other people would love them too. I didnt over-analyze them, and I didnt worry about them not being successful. If youre passionate about what youre doing, just design and create for yourself, and everything else will eventually fall into place.

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Design and create for yourself, and everything else will eventually fall into place
26 | 33 CREATIVE HABITS | ON DOING IT FOR YOU

Here are the best life hacks for tapping into creativity as shared by BRIKA designers, artisans and Makers.

1  Just start something! 2 G  et your rst ideas out in a tangible way (it makes room for new ones!) 3  Perfect your ideas through trial and error 4  Enjoy the process of your project 5  Dont over-think or judge your initial work 6  Make creating a priority in your schedule 7  Give yourself time to play at the beginning of a project 8  Write down every idea; dont let any get away! 9  Read a great book something that challenges you 10  Build a reservoir of ideas + inspiration either in digital or analog format 11  Make a plan & stay true to your creative vision 12 Make time for what you love 13  Give yourself hours not minutesto create! 14  Walk away from a project, come back & make revisions 15  Ideally, travel to a foreign city. In a pinch, a good run or bike ride will do 16  Work on multiple projects at once to avoid getting hung up on one project 17  Keep experimenting; the best things come this way in art, work & life

18  Commit! Work on your craft every day

even if its only for 15 minutes 19  Find a theme you like and run with it. Then, edit it down to a few gems 20 People-watch (everyone tells a story) 21  Throw on some energizing music & take a dance break 22  Create a visual board of things that inspire you 23  Try a different routine 24  Dont succumb to fear (talent is 90% drive) 25  Build condence through research 26  Accept failure as part of the process 27  Relax and get out of your head 28  Bounce ideas off a trusted friend 29  Push yourself out of your comfort zone 30  Dont get wrapped up in what other people are doing 31  Discover when and where youre most productive 32  Get off your computer & get out your paints, or pens, or whatever medium you love 33  Design and create for yourself, and everything else will fall into place.

Get your brainstorm on.

Jen Lee Koss


CO-FOUNDER & BUILDER OF BUSINESS

Bring out a fresh piece of paper, your favorite writing device and just let those ideas ow. Dont stop yourself or get too analytical. Make it a free form of expression. Once youve reached your max, sit back and take in what youve created. There are always amazing ideas in there, I swear! And best of all, come back to that document given time. New ones emerge out of nowhere!

Your best ideas come while youre doing something other than staring at your phone or computer. Dont multi-task. Executing a beautiful idea takes focus and space. Prioritize creative activities. These days we let our inbox drive our day. Set aside dedicated time for your creative activities. Change up your environment. Work at the local library, a coffee shop or a shared workspace. To think outside of the box you need to be outside of the box! Use tools that work for you. Your tools should support your creative habits. Find ones that work for you and use them religiously.

UNPLUG once in a while.

Kena Paranjape
CO-FOUNDER & CRAFTER OF BRAND

Steph Donnelly
To break up the day and nd added inspiration, I recommend a good cup of coffee and a favorite song. They always help me organize my thoughts and focus on what I need to get done.

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Kimon Kaketsis

PHOTOGRAPHER

I take snaps with my iPhone and have a designated inspiration album that I refer to. As a photographer a visual diary is crucial for me to get around creative blocks.

Maddie Leznoff

WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

Lori Mastronardi
EDITOR

Exercise. Nothing clears my head like putting on my headphones, going for a run, and zoning out for a while. I nd I come back refreshed and with tons of new ideas.

Always keep a notebook nearby. I nd I have the best ideas right before bed, and the only way to remember them in the morning is to write them down (even if its in my phone!).

Jen Solis

ASSISTANT MERCHANDISING MANAGER

Gavin Whyte

MERCHANDISING ASSISTANT

I like to take a stroll and discover the many ins and outs of the city there is always something new!

Looking at fashion magazines, especially fashion editorials. Theyre so creative and its quite inspiring to see the ideas around them and how they evolved into imagery.

CREATIVE TIPS